All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Leonardo Suarez Paz and Fernando Suarez Paz: Escualo

Duncan Heining By

Sign in to view read count
Leonardo Suarez Paz is surely now the torchbearer of Argentine Tango and the legacy of its greatest composer, Astor Piazzolla. His father Fernando Suarez Paz, of course, played with Piazzolla for many years and father and son have often performed his and works by other composers of tango. It is our fortune that Suarez Paz hijo has persuaded Suarez Paz padre out of retirement, if only one more time.

Both father and son respect tango as a living tradition—not as a museum piece frozen in time or as colour for some post-modern bricolage. In Leonardo's hands, it merges deftly with jazz. Piazzolla's "Calambre" is an excellent example of this—at times, it is as if Stuff Smith (the father) duets with Jean-Luc Ponty (the son)—one can hear instantly why Fernando was the master's first choice for so many years. In his solo, Suarez Paz Jr., uses the electric violin given to him by his father and Piazzolla to marvellous effect, a nod to the present and a cap doffed respectfully to the past. Daniel pipi Piazzolla, the great man's grandson, brings jazz drumming to the feast and it works joyously.

Piazzolla's "Escualo" also explores jazz in its improvisations from Suarez Paz Jr. and again from 'Pipi' Piazzolla but more as a set of possibilities to be explored without departing too far from the original. "La Luz de Un Fosforo" ("The Light of a Match"—a title, itself, resonate with imagery—a signal between two forbidden lovers, perhaps?) might well be my favourite track here. Essentially a trio with pianist Cristian Zarate, who arranged the tune and "Escualo" and "Calambre," this is an older composition from Alberto Suarez Villanueva. Writing this on a cold, wet November afternoon in England, the piece with its flowing rhythms and swooping glissandi is a transport of delight to somewhere warmer and more hospitable.

Escualo consists of four group performances and four duets between father and son. If the listener is more familiar with the idea of tango as primarily a dance of controlled passion and unconcealed desire, then these duets will surprise. There is a range of emotions to be traversed here, often within a single composition. "La Casita De Mis Viejos" ("My Parent's Home") begins with sharp, angular, mournful notes before opening out into something at times full of gentle fun and at others of mock rebuke. On the other hand, the jaunty air of "Pablo" has an almost self-satirising feel to it, that makes it impossible not to smile.

The other two duets, Piazzolla's stunningly gorgeous "Oblivion" and "Los Mareados" ("Tipsy") are more personal to both father and son, the former because of their connection to its composer, the latter because it was so many years in Fernando's repertoire. At nearly 7 minutes long, it is a magnificent performance filled with all the virtues of tango—"Masters of Tango Violin," indeed.

They close fittingly with Carlos Gardel's "Por Una Cabeza," one of the most internationally famous of all tangos. The performance here has the immediacy of improvisation. It is like an afterthought, casual and born of the fondness of friends and familial love, but a perfect ending to a lovely and deeply affecting record.

Track Listing: Escualo; La Luz de Un Fosforo; Pablo; La Castia De Mis Viejos; Calambre; Oblivion; Los Mareados; Por Una Cabeza.

Personnel: Fernando Suarez Paz violin; Leonardo Suarez Paz violin and electric violin; Cristian Zarate piano; Daniel ‘Pipi’ Piazzolla; Lautaro Greco bandoneon; Daniel Falasca, Roberto Tormo bass.

Title: Escualo | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Azica Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Piano Works CD/LP/Track Review
Piano Works
by John Sharpe
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Throw Tomatoes CD/LP/Track Review
Throw Tomatoes
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Reflections 2 CD/LP/Track Review
Reflections 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Duende Libre" CD/LP/Track Review Duende Libre
by James Nadal
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "To Pianos" CD/LP/Track Review To Pianos
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 10, 2018
Read "Danza Imposible" CD/LP/Track Review Danza Imposible
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2017
Read "No Matter Where Noir" CD/LP/Track Review No Matter Where Noir
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Earthshine" CD/LP/Track Review Earthshine
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Tandem" CD/LP/Track Review Tandem
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2018